Progressive Snapshot Review
Progressive Insurance is a well-known name in auto insurance and with good reason. It is one of the largest auto insurers in the United States with over 10 million auto policies written and 18 million combined policies written for car, boat, house, motorcycle and other types of insurance. Progressive Insurance has been given an “A+” financial strength rating from insurance rating organization, A.M. Best. The company was founded in 1937 and has paved the way as an innovator in the insurance industry.
One of the innovations introduced by Progressive was its usage-based auto insurance program called Snapshot. On Progressive’s website, the company states Snapshot has saved auto policyholders more than $700 million in discounts. The average driver can expect to receive a $130 discount.
Snapshot Program Features
If you decide to sign up for the Progressive Snapshot program, you will receive a device in the mail. It is small; approximately the size of a golf ball and the installation process is relatively simple. It plugs into your car’s computer port located underneath your steering wheel and is out-of-sight while you are operating your vehicle. Snapshot is not available in AK, CA, HI, and NC. The Snapshot device only works in vehicles built after 1995.
Once installed, the device tracks where and when you drive, including your mileage on any given day. It will also track your driving habits including any hard braking occurrences or hard-cornering events. Hard braking is considered any decrease in speed over 7 miles per second. It does not record whether or not you exceed the speed limit. This data is transmitted to the company and is evaluated over a 30-day period to determine if you qualify for a discount and how much it will be. After a policy period, typically six months, you receive pre-paid boxes in the mail to return the devices to Progressive.
You can also use the Progressive mobile app to sign up, Just download the mobile app and register. The mobile app includes a dashboard that lists your driving status, recent trips and tips for improving your driving.
Privacy of Personal Data
Driving data is captured through the telematics device installed in your vehicle. The device tracks your personal data including driving habits, where and when you drive as well as other data and reports it to the insurance company. Progressive Insurance spokesperson, Jeff Siber, stated regarding the Snapshot program, that Progressive does not track where its drivers are headed and there is no GPS function with the device used in your vehicle. The program is voluntary and the data it receives is not shared with third parties.
You will be able to view this data including totals, averages and the details of the drives you take during your evaluation period.
The Progressive website states that the company will not share your information unless it is required to service your insurance policy, prevent fraud, perform research or to comply with the law. Snapshot information is only used to resolve a claim if you or the registered vehicle owner permits it. It is unclear how long Progressive keeps the data collected from Snapshot devices. The website states this varies depending on where you live. At minimum, the company will follow the rules established by your state’s department of insurance.
Customer Feedback on the Progressive Snapshot Program
User reviews of the Snapshot program range from those who did not see any significant savings to policy holders who have reported receiving up to a 30 percent discount on auto insurance. After evaluation periods, it seems those cars that have less mileage and less hard braking and those who do not drive as much between the hours of midnight and 4 am will receive a greater discount in their insurance premiums. Some people feel that the 7 miles per second hard-braking rule is unfair, especially if you tend to drive in a lot of high-traffic areas where you apply your brakes frequently.
This may unfairly judge drivers according to their driving environment rather than how safely they drive.
The Bottom Line
There are some people who will never feel comfortable with a tracking device installed in their vehicle. If you are one of these people, then the Snapshot program may not be for you. However, if you are currently paying a high auto insurance premium because you are considered a high-risk driver, you may be able to realize some savings through the Progressive Snapshot program. Your safe driving habits will be recorded and reported to the insurance company. People who drive their vehicles less and without frequent hard-braking will receive the greatest discounts on their auto insurance premiums, reportedly at much as 30 percent in some cases.